Monday, 31 May 2010




Nature Alert supports ProFauna and the children of Indonesia in their appeal to John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) to return their orangutans from Thailand to Indonesia – from where they were stolen early in 2009.

15 months ago 11 baby orangutans, stolen from the forests of Indonesia, were found and confiscated from a private zoo in Thailand. Ever since when, the Indonesian CITES office, has been processing paperwork while these highly endangered, fully protected, wild caught orangutans sit in cages in Thailand, waiting to be returned to their natural home.

Sean Whyte, CEO Nature Alert said, “CITES has let down these orangutans, let down what their own organisation stands for, and let down the children of Indonesia. It’s a scandal and we call on CITES to return these orangutans to Indonesia - now.”

The illegal trade in baby orangutans between Indonesia and Thailand previously came to light in 2006, when only after a vigorous public campaign a Thai zoo was forced to return 48 orangutans to Indonesia. No one was ever prosecuted in Thailand then and no one has been prosecuted for being found in possession of these eleven orangutans.

Although fully protected under Indonesian law, there are no records of anyone ever being prosecuted for keeping an orangutan or killing one, even though at least 1000 have been confiscated and every year some 3000 orangutans are killed by the logging and palm oil industry.

Rosek Nursahid, Chairman of ProFauna said, “We are proud the children of Indonesia join us in our appeal to CITES Thailand and CITES Indonesia to “SEND THEM BACK HOME” For too long these 11 orangutans have suffered and we want them back in their original and rightful home, which is Indonesia, not Thailand.

For further information please see the following notes and/or contact Sean Whyte (UK) or Butet Sitohang (Indonesia)

In February 2009 11 orangutans were rescued from a private zoo in Thailand. Since then all 11 have been kept in a government compound near Bangkok. DNA tests proved conclusively these orangutans were from Indonesia. These orangutans should have been repatriated to Indonesia at least 12 months ago; the only reason they have not is because of inefficiency and complacency within CITES Indonesia (Ministry of Forestry) in particular.

CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. John Scanlon is the Secretary General of CITES. Orangutans are an Appendix 1 fully protected species and all trade is prohibited.

The population of orangutans is estimated at approximately 55,000 -60,000, 75% of which live outside of protected areas) and is believed to currently be declining at the rate of about 3000 animals a year due loss of habitat through the expansion of oil, palm plantations and logging activities.

Loggers and oil palm company employees kill the adult mother orangutan and steal the baby from her still warm chest. The babies are then sold through a black market illegal trade, often ending with them appearing in zoos in countries like Thailand or Cambodia.

For every baby orangutan which survives capture and onward shipping, experts believe another six will have died either during capture, or though injuries and ill treatment afterwards.

An orangutan rescue centre in Kalimantan has offered to accept and rehabilitate all 11 orangutans.
ProFauna, an Indonesian NGO, has been working to protect wildlife and from the illegal trade and other exploitation ever since. ProFauna efforts in protecting and saving wildlife and forests are considered as the key points to save the nature in general which eventually bring better life for human beings.

Nature Alert works internationally and is a leading campaign organisation against the trade in orangutans. It led the campaign in 2006 which forced Thailand to send 48 orangutans back to Indonesia. blog: